11/15/2006




Prince Lovett

Three years ago when I was a 3rd year vet student, I met Lyle Lovett. He brought his Doberman named "Prince" for a recheck at the small animal clinic inside A&M's College of Veterinary Medicine. Prince was diagnosed with Wobbler's disease, a neurological condition in which the vertebrae in the neck compress the spinal cord, causing excruciating pain and paralysis. Prince received corrective surgery for his condition (two of his vertebrae were fused together with a metal plate), and he was recovering well.

My job as a 3rd year student was to shadow a senior student during clinical rotations in the small animal clinic and make coffee for the clinicians. I went out in the lobby to meet Lyle and take him and Prince into the exam room. The lobby was crowded, as usual, but I knew exactly where Lyle was because everyone was staring at him. The pets in the lobby were staring at him too. Even "Barney" the 21-year-old blind cat with hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, hypertension, arthritis, dental disease and inflammatory bowel syndrome was staring at him. I approached Lyle cautiously (I didn't want to appear I was stalking him like everyone else in the lobby). He looked at me and our eyes met. I have to say, Lyle looks alot better in person. He was wearing a bit of makeup that day, but it looked good on him, unlike the blush I crookedly smeared on my face in the car on the way to school that morning.

Lyle and I shook hands. He smiled and said, "Nice to meet you." Yeah, it was nice for him to meet me alright. Lyle, a tour manager, and Prince followed me back to the exam room. WE all crammed into the exam room, and Lyle's body heat intersected mine. First, I took a few minutes to collect a history from Lyle. I could smell his cologne under my nose and decided I could have chosen a better scent for him.

Before taking Prince's rectal temperature, I thought to myself, "I'm about to stick something in Lyle Lovett's dog's anus!" Like a robot, I applied lube (!) to the end of the thermometer and inserted it into Prince's bum. Prince's eyes widened and then Lyle's eyes widened. "100.5", I said to Lyle. "I suppose that's normal, right?", he answered. I wanted to be a smart-ass and say to him, "Actually a temperature of 100.5 is consistent and indicative of metal plate migration from the vertebrae into the brain." Instead I said, "yes, Prince has a normal temperature." I left out the word rectal.

"Is it o.k. if I take Prince down the hall to weight him?", I asked Mr. Lovett. "Of course! Can I go with you?", Lyle begged. "Sure!", I exclaimed. I led Prince and Lyle down the hallway of the small animal clinic, which is a very busy, populated hospital. This meant that my debut with Lyle in the clinic would be well received.

I strutted down the hall like a railway conductor with Prince the freight car and Lyle the caboose. I felt like a rock star. I was Rod Stewart, singing "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" to myself as I sacheyed toward the weight scale. The attention was great. I had clinicians and students pointing and mouthing, "Is that Lyle Lovett?" to me. As I sang disco, I inserted the word "yes" at every other beat to keep others informed that indeed it was Lyle Lovett.

After putting Prince on the scale and announcing his weight to Julia Robert's ex-husband, I looked to see if Prince had lost or gained any weight. He had actually gained 2.5 lbs. I wanted to be a smart-ass and say to Lyle, "A gain of over 2 lbs. usually means the metal plate has moved into the brain, causing swelling, fluid build-up and weight gain". Instead I said, "Wow. Prince has already gained back over 2 lbs., which means he's probably gaining muscle mass around his neck again!"

We turned around to exit the scale, and I regrouped the train and we headed back to the exam room. This time I pretended I was the leader of a marching band. Prince was the horn section and Lyle was percussion. I was holding my band hat above my head with my right arm, waving it in the air and pumping my baton at everybody in the clinic. I was full of myself.

I walked Prince and Lyle back to the exam room and said, "The doctor will be with you in a few minutes." Lyle said, "Okay, thanks and have a good day!" I thought about asking him if he wanted my autograph.

I turned around and shut the exam room door behind me. I wonder if Lyle was looking at my butt on my way out. The disco music slowed. I heard the lonely 'clank' of a drumstick hitting a cymbal, and Rod's voice drained from my vocal cords. I no longer had a baton in my hand, either. My affair with Lyle Lovett was over.

I had a dream that night that Rod Stweart got hit by a train while singing "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" because Prince was conductor and Lyle was too busy playing the drums to realize his dog's metal plate had migrated into his brain, causing the accident.

Comments:
Hello Dr. Cornelius,

A odd dream led me to you and I thought I'd say hi, in case there is some real reason I should contact you.

OK here it is. In the dream I was in bed (course I was in bed in real life as well... anywho...) and I heard a cat downstairs. Muse, my cat was beside me so I went down to investigate.

I found a long-haired female cat with very matted fur. She was white with three big orange spots on her body. She was also scared and ran to the basement and hid in a closet. I lured her out and started to pet her and talk to her to calm her down. She told me she belonged to a little girl but only knew her first name. She did know her vets name was Dr. Lovett so I went online to find him.

It was late and I couldn't call him so I told her we'd get it all worked out in the morning and went back to bed. She came with and laid across my neck to sleep. She was one of those cats that purred so hard she slobbered.
Muse didn't really like sharing her spot but didn't fight with her.

So this morning in real life, I got on line to see if there really is a Dr. Lovett, DVM and the first thing that came up on google was this blog story about your visit with Lyle Lovett.

And you are the cat doctor, so that's sort of a funny connection.

You also say you write comedy... I talk comedy... I'm in an improv comedy company. The director of the company is from Iowa.

I never met Lyle Lovett but I bumped in to Don Williams in a truck stop once. And you ended this entry with a dream story... so.

Ok well, Now that you think I'm totally insane...lol I'm going to look a bit more for a Dr. Lovett.

I like your blog, you have good writing style and an interesting point of view. If you ever get your dream hospital build... I'm coming to Iowa.

--
Vicki
letsgoplay@gmail.com
 
I used to work at the animal clinic next to Strack's restaurant in Spring and apparently I was the only vet tech who never saw Lyle on a lunch-run at Strack's (apparently I don't eat enough chopped-meat sandwiches!). Damn it.

Worse than that--I'm from his goddamned hometown (well, almost; I officially live two blocks from Klein) and the only time I've seen him live onstage was in--are you sitting down?--Des Moines. I mean, Iowa is great and all but I'M FROM HIS HOMETOWN. Sheesh.

Sigh.

(Poor Dobie, by the way. I hope he did all right. One of my coworkers' Dobies had Wobbler's, too. He was a great dog.)
 
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